4 Causes of Mercedes P0016 Code

If you own a Mercedes-Benz and encounter a P0016 error code, you might be dealing with an issue related to the synchronization between your vehicle’s crankshaft and camshaft. This fault code implies that the signals from both camshaft and crankshaft sensors aren’t aligned according to the required specifications, indicating a correlation fault.

Understanding this error and its symptoms can help you diagnose the issue and take the necessary steps to resolve it. By addressing the P0016 fault code promptly, you can maintain the smooth performance of your beloved Mercedes-Benz.

Symptoms of Mercedes P0016 Code

Check Engine Light

With a P0016 code, one of the most noticeable symptoms is the illumination of the check engine light on your dashboard. When this error occurs, your Mercedes-Benz’s onboard computer detects a discrepancy in the signals from the crankshaft and camshaft sensors, prompting the engine control unit (ECU) to display the warning light. If your check engine light turns on, it’s a sign that your car requires timely attention and possible repair.

Fuel Economy

Another symptom you might encounter when facing a P0016 code is a decrease in fuel economy. Due to the improper synchronization of the crankshaft and camshaft, your car’s engine might work less efficiently and consume more fuel than usual. You may notice that your Mercedes-Benz consumes more fuel per mile, leading to frequent visits to the gas station. In such situations, it’s crucial to address the issue to prevent excessive fuel costs and additional damage to the engine.

So, if you notice your Mercedes-Benz showing either or both of these symptoms (check engine light and decreased fuel economy), it’s essential to seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix the issue. The potential causes of the P0016 Code can include a faulty crankshaft position sensor, a stretched timing chain, or a slipped reluctor ring on the crankshaft, among others. By addressing the problem, you can ensure the smooth operation and longevity of your Mercedes-Benz engine.

Causes of Mercedes P0016 Code

Timing Chain Issues

A common cause of the P0016 code is related to the timing chain. Issues with the timing chain, such as a stretched or damaged one, can disrupt the proper synchronization between the camshaft and the crankshaft. A properly functioning timing chain is essential for maintaining the accuracy of the camshaft and crankshaft positions, ensuring engine performance and efficiency.

Sensor Problems

Another likely cause for the P0016 code could be problems with the camshaft position sensor or the crankshaft position sensor. These sensors help your vehicle’s engine control module (ECM) monitor the positions of the camshaft and crankshaft. If either of these sensors fails or experiences a malfunction, the ECM will receive inaccurate information, leading to the P0016 code.

Oil and Heat Issues

Engine oil issues can also contribute to the P0016 code. Low oil levels, dirty oil, or degraded oil quality can lead to inaccurate readings from the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors. Additionally, excessive heat can also cause damage to these sensors – increasing the likelihood of a P0016 code appearing. Regularly checking and maintaining your engine oil is crucial in preventing such issues.

Electrical Faults

Lastly, electrical faults such as issues with the wiring harness, connectors, or poor electrical connections can also lead to the P0016 code. Inspecting these components for damage or loose connections can help identify any potential electrical issues contributing to the code. Proper maintenance and regular inspections of your vehicle’s electrical system can help prevent these problems from causing the P0016 code.

How to Diagnose Mercedes P0016 Code

When encountering the P0016 code in your Mercedes, it’s crucial to diagnose the issue accurately to prevent any potential engine damage. The code means that the correlation between the camshaft and crankshaft positions on bank 1 is incorrect, based on the intake camshaft position sensor. Don’t worry, diagnosing and fixing this issue might seem daunting, but with a friendly approach and the right tools, you can handle it like a pro!

To diagnose the issue, start by examining the possible causes. These can include a worn timing chain or belt, faulty camshaft or crankshaft position sensors, or a problem with the engine control module (ECM). It’s essential to inspect the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors visually to look for any signs of damage, debris, or improper connections. If you’re unsure where to start, consider seeking help from a professional technician.

It’s important to test the engine control module to ensure there aren’t any issues with the unit causing the P0016 code. You may need to use an oscilloscope, which can help you identify any irregular patterns in the sensor signals. This tool can be a great addition to your diagnostic arsenal.

As you diagnose the problem, remember that patience and a systematic approach are key. Try to eliminate each possible cause, one by one, until you find the root of the problem. Once you’ve determined the cause of the P0016 code, fixing it can range from simply cleaning the sensor connections to replacing the timing chain or even repairing the engine control module.

All in all, diagnosing the P0016 code in your Mercedes requires a thorough understanding of the problem and the potential causes. With some patience, the right tools, and a friendly mindset, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle this issue and get back on the road!

Bank 1 and Camshaft Issues

Hey there! If you’re dealing with a Mercedes P0016 error code, you’re likely experiencing issues related to Bank 1 and the camshaft. Let’s take a moment to discuss this situation and help you better understand the problem.

Your Mercedes engine has multiple cylinders, and they are separated into two banks. Bank 1 is the side where all your odd-numbered cylinders are located. The P0016 code indicates that there’s a correlation problem between the crankshaft and camshaft positions in Bank 1.

In this engine bank, you’ll find both the intake cam and exhaust cam. These two cams control the opening and closing of valves for proper air and exhaust flow in your cylinders. If they experience issues with alignment, it could lead to various performance problems and even cause damage to parts of your engine.

The culprit behind the P0016 code is often linked to the camshaft sensor, specifically sensor ‘A’. This sensor monitors the camshaft’s position and ensures it stays in sync with the crankshaft. If the sensor malfunctions or loses its ability to accurately detect the position of the camshaft, you’ll face the dreaded P0016 error code.

One crucial aspect to consider when tackling this issue is checking the alignment of your camshaft and crankshaft. Proper alignment ensures smooth engine performance and prevents wear on your components. If the timing is off, it might cause the engine to run poorly, leading to additional issues.

Lastly, the balance shaft in your Mercedes engine plays a significant part in maintaining smooth operation. The purpose of the balance shaft is to counteract vibrations generated by the engine’s moving parts. If there’s a problem with the balance shaft, it could also contribute to the P0016 error code.

Safety Recalls and Factory Service Bulletins

It’s essential to stay informed about any safety recalls or factory service bulletins related to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle, especially if you encounter the P0016 error code. To help ensure your safety and maintain the performance of your car, we will provide some guidance on how to check for recalls, technical service bulletins (TSB), and address them properly.

First, you should check for any safety recalls that may involve your Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz USA offers a convenient way to look up recall information by entering your 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Stay up to date with recall campaigns to keep your vehicle in top shape and ensure your safety on the road.

In addition to recalls, it’s also crucial to review factory service bulletins, such as TSBs. These bulletins are issued by Mercedes-Benz and provide helpful information about addressing common issues or maintenance procedures for your specific model. To look up TSB information, you can visit the NHTSA website and find the relevant information by entering your vehicle’s make, model, and year.

As a Mercedes-Benz owner, addressing the P0016 error code is a significant concern since it involves the synchronization between the camshaft and crankshaft sensors. A helpful video resource can be found here that guides you through the process of replacing these sensors and resolving the issue.


In summary, the P0016 code in a Mercedes Benz signifies a synchronization error between the camshaft and crankshaft. Possible causes include a damaged timing chain, faulty reluctor wheels, or a bad camshaft or crankshaft sensor. You can follow this video guide for sensor replacement. Always consult a professional mechanic if you’re unsure to prevent further issues. Stay proactive and maintain your vehicle regularly to avoid such problems in the future.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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